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Does my child have a speech problem?

Q: My four-year-old daughter says "la" for "ra", e.g. she says "laat" for "raat". She is not able to pronounce the words where only half pronunciation is needed such as "slave" becomes "save", "story" becomes either "sory" or "tory" and "glass" becomes "gass". If she is saying a longer sentence, she mixes words. She is not able to say even nursery rhymes clearly. I am really worried for her. But her school teacher finds her speech okay. Another major problem is that it has been more than a year that she is going to school, but still she is not able to recognise numbers and letters. She can copy and trace any given letter and number, but she recognises only a couple of them. If I repeat a letter 100 times, she repeats after me, but the 101st time if I ask her what the number was, she cannot answer. She does the same with her teacher at school. Also, she is a very stubborn child. We speak in Hindi at home, but these days I am trying to use English with her, as I feel that it is very important. But she is not too happy with English, though sometimes she herself takes initiative and utters a few words in her broken English. I find her clearer when she speaks Hindi; her English words actually go for a toss. Otherwise, she is an extremely beautiful, adorable and playful child. She loves to talk, colour and play outdoors. She is a wonderful dancer and a very good runner. Does she have a learning or speech disorder?

A:Your child needs some help from a specialist, like a speech therapist, but it's not serious. Gradually, she will get over the pronunciation problems. It is not fair to describe her as stubborn. Perhaps you do not have enough patience. Get her toys and play material that she can handle. Perhaps she does not understand what you expect of her. If her teacher finds her okay, you should be glad. I think you should be more relaxed when you play with her and not always do something for her knowing letters and numbers.

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